GPS Mania

, , Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hardly a day goes by lately that I don't use a GPS device. I recently mapped out our trip to Florida using a Garmin GPSMap 60csx with their City Navigator NT software. I kept my eyes glued to the device for too much of the trip, but since I didn't do much driving it helped keep my mind occupied.

The City Navigator software is pretty nice, and the device will give turn-by-turn route directions which makes navigation a snap. And there are thousands of POI (points of interest) data points loaded into the software, which is really handy as well. As we approached Nashville I used the information to try to find a hotel for the night. I could sort the hotels by distance to travel, and call the number listed to book a room.

What I find even more useful is my new Garmin Forerunner 305. It includes a heart rate monitor, so I use it to monitor and log all of my excercising. I can set elaborate training routines if I choose, to help guide me through repeat workouts or to alarm if my heart rate gets too high/too low. But I'm not in high intensity training mode, so mostly I just use it for keeping track of how my fitness is coming.

Today I wanted to have a day off from running, but I didn't take the day off from my GPS habbit. I did some cross training by taking a nice long hike with the dog. He's such a fun little hiking partner, coming quickly back to check on me if he has run out of site. He's able to tackle the scarey narrow wooden bridges over the ravines now without much hesitation. A couple of months ago it took 10 minutes of coxing with treats to make that happen. Now he crosses on his own.

I think we have some of the most scenic hiking in the state just a mile from our house. Here's our route:

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